Public relations

Public relations can be an important tool for driving traffic to the web site if changes to online services or online events are significant or if a viral campaign is discussed online. The days of the launch of a web site being significant are now gone, but if a site is relaunched with significant changes to its services, this may still be worthy of mention. Many newspapers have regular features listing interesting entertainment or leisure sites or guides to specific topics such as online banking or grocery shopping. Trade magazines may also give information about relevant web sites.

Jenkins (1995) argues that one key objective for public relations is its role in transforming a negative situation into a positive achievement. The public relations transfer process he suggests is as follows:

• from ignorance to knowledge;

• from apathy to interest;

• from prejudice to acceptance;

• from hostility to sympathy.

This is a key aim of online PR which is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.

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